Recently, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, again vowed to obliterate Israel. He boasted that Iran has empowered its Lebanese proxy to such an extent that Hezbollah "alone" can wipe out Israel. Pictured: Salami receives his promotion to the rank of Major General, from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a ceremony held on April 22, 2019. (Image source: khamenei.ir)
Malign behavior in the world today seems largely to be the result of people who have the power to correct what is wrong willfully looking the other way: hypocrisy. Currently, one of the biggest beneficiaries -- along with China, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, Turkey and Cuba -- is the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Among other lawlessness, Iran, since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, has continued non-stop to threaten the existence of Israel in contravention of Chapter 1 the United Nations Charter -- without any reproof or rebuke from the international community.
Amazingly, Israel has been bullied and criticized by the same international community for merely taking precautionary measures to defend its citizens and territorial integrity, as any country would.
If, for any reason, the Israeli government ever issued a declaration about destroying Iran "in half an hour," as Iran recently said about Israel, we would probably never hear the end of the criticism from all parts of the world. The European Union would likely take even more measures to counter Israel. There would doubtless be an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to hurl slanders against Israel, followed by countries pledging solidarity and support for Iran.
It was Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, who issued this latest threat.
For some reason, the Islamic Republic is getting a free pass for continually threatening to wipe out Israel off the map. This lopsided justice is either a case of selective amnesia or outrageous double standards by the international community.
In a recent ceremony in the northern city of Urumiyeh, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, again vowed to obliterate Israel.
He boasted that Iran has empowered its Lebanese proxy to such an extent that Hezbollah "alone" can wipe out Israel.
According to Salami, "The Lebanese Hezbollah has now developed such an extent of power through the experience of confrontation against proxy wars that it is now, by itself, able to wipe the Zionist regime off the map in any possible war." He added that "They [the US and its allies] intended to undermine Iran's regional influence, but everyone witnessed how this policy backfired to increase Iran's influence and a united front was formed against the Zionist regime."
Salami also pointed out that Iran has assisted Hezbollah to sharpen its military capabilities fighting in Syria to become strong enough single-handedly to "wipe the Zionist regime off the map".
Revealingly, when the Iranian general was appointed as the IRGC commander by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in April, it appears that one of the main reasons behind his appointment was his deep antagonism towards the state of Israel and the Jewish people.
Before becoming the IRGC commander, Salami was in charge of building up Iran's ballistic missile system capable of "annihilating" Israel.
The IRGC commander has consistently maintained his desire and ambition to destroy Israel. Salami was previously quoted as saying that "Today, more than ever, there is fertile ground — with the grace of God — for the annihilation, the wiping out and the collapse of the Zionist regime."
He also famously boasted that "In Lebanon alone, over 100,000 missiles are ready to be launched," adding:
"If there is a will, if it serves [our] interests, and if the Zionist regime repeats its past mistakes due to its miscalculations, these missiles will pierce through space, and will strike at the heart of the Zionist regime. They will prepare the ground for its great collapse in the new era."
He also has said, "Iran's policies towards the terrorist groups and the Zionist regime will not change, and this regime will be vanished from the global political scene."
As one of the most effective ways to attract public support in the Iranian government is to slander Israel, Iranian politicians across the political spectrum have shown support for the IRGC commander.
Iran, however, does not have monopoly on violence; it needs to be told -- in no uncertain terms -- by the international community that it cannot continue to bully Israel.
The international community, for its part, needs to stop its double standards by taking measures against Iran's vows to annihilate Israel.
Fortunately, since U.S. President Donald J. Trump took office, America's Iran policy has been heading in the right direction. Steadily escalating economic sanctions have inflicted serious damage on Iran's economy. Maximum pressure is the right policy to adopt to bridle this predatory regime.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu